Now that Town Meeting has approved Bourne’s 2015 operating budget, and the finance committee has sent a clear message that future municipal spending needs are not sustainable, it could be time to ask residents to prioritize town services.
Collecting opinions from taxpayers is a fundamental way for our board of selectmen to begin a financial planning process. Over a decade ago when the town was engaged in its town charter exercise, the charter committee mailed a simple survey to residents in order to gather opinions and recommendations. This interaction with residents resulted in a positive outcome, the town charter we use today.
I believe asking residents what services they value and how money should be spent could be the “cornerstone” for any long range municipal financial plan.
What do you value? Is educating Bourne’s children a higher priority than public safety? Should the town spend money on lifeguards instead of shellfish propagation? Is community development at the bottom of your list? David Letterman has the right idea. A “Top Ten” list is simple and easily understood. Bourne’s “Top Ten” list could clearly show how residents want their future tax money spent.
Richard W. Conron